David Perlmutter is the bestselling author of 14 books—four true stories, one fiction, a children’s book and eight marketing books. One of his true stories, titled ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time,’ about his nightmare trip to Marbella, is being made into a movie, and has been a #1 Bestseller on Amazon in the UK, America, Spain, Canada and Australia, with over 1,000 5-star reviews.
WG: Your book ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ has done extremely well. I noticed that there are many other books on Amazon with the same title. How did you manage to differentiate your book from the fray?
DP: Thank you, and a great question. There are a number of books of the same title now, but when I first published my book, there weren’t as many. The difference between my book and the others of the same name is that my story is not fiction, it’s a true story and the only one which is a book-to-movie project.
WG: I read that you do not ask and do not pay for reviews. How did you manage to get so many reviews? You have over 1000 5-star reviews. Is there a secret trick?
DP: I’m overwhelmed by all the five-star reviews. I don’t have a secret trick at all. I guess it’s a compelling and intriguing true story based on my events in London and Marbella. I’ve never paid for a review and never will. I do receive messages on a daily basis from companies or individuals who ask for payment and in return, they will read the book and post a review, but this is not for me. I prefer organic reviews.
WG: What took you to Portugal, and where in Portugal were you?
DP: I moved to Portugal in early 2000, wanting a change of scenery. At the time, I was working in property and living in Tufnell Park, in North London, and fancied a different way of life. Living in Tufnell Park for a year, having moved from Devon, England, for a year was a fantastic experience. This particular neighborhood is like a little village in busy London. I’d traveled a lot beforehand but decided on Portugal because I’d never been there before and wanted to be close to beaches. I love the sea and the sea view. I first lived in the Algarve, southern Portugal, in an area called, Praia da Luz, then Lagos and Alvor. After five years, I moved to Madeira, which is a beautiful Portuguese island and I lived there for a further two years. I lived with my then girlfriend while in the Algarve, and our beautiful baby daughter was born there. She will be 13 years old in August and now lives in Bridport, Dorset, in the southwest of England.
WG: What were you doing before you started writing?
DP: I was living in Portugal and had several jobs, in real estate, selling advertising for an English newspaper called Get Real, we also had a radio show, which was great fun, and also selling page one Google ranking adverts. But my final job before I left Portugal to return to England was working for a luxury timeshare company. It was during my time in Portugal that I started to write a blog, which is still going and with over 780K views, HERE> (https://davidpperlmutter.blogspot.com/), and I started to write about a trip to Marbella in 1991, which, if you have read the story, was exceptionally harrowing. Writing the blog post about the events was some sort of therapy. I sent a blog post or two to a friend and editor, and she replied, “David, this is far too good for a blog, write a book.” The rest is history.
WG: I see that you tweet about your mom. What does she think about your profession?
DP: I tweet about my mum because she is an inspiration to me and all my five siblings. She’s 87 years old, had six kids in eleven years, when she was much younger, of course, lives on her own, never complained at all during the Covid lockdowns, and is a Facebook queen. She is very proud of my work, as she is very proud of all my siblings. I am her favorite author, but she does adore Anthony Horowitz, which he is fully aware of. Saying that, sometimes I feel I come a close second to Anthony. But I don’t mind, I’ve met Anthony, who was an inspiration, a legend, and an all-around wonderful chap.
WG: You are dyslexic. When did you first realize that and how has it impacted you as a writer? What do you do to get around that?
DP: I always knew I had some sort of impediment with reading and writing, but it was never diagnosed when I was at school, as it wasn’t really a thing 43 years ago, and teachers just thought I was stupid, plus I was bullied by my peers for it. I only knew the seriousness of my dyslexia, a word I still struggle to spell, when I started to write my first book, ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’. Before I sent the manuscript to my then editor, I would re-read what I had written and couldn’t believe the incorrect spelling and grammar. Now my editor is my partner Julie, and thankfully she understands my writing and my problem. “It’s a good job I speak Dave,” she frequently says. I must say it is very frustrating when I write a word, which to me looks correct, and then she points out that it isn’t. Also, when I start a sentence or paragraph and if one word is spelled incorrectly, I have to start that sentence or paragraph again, not just delete that one word. That is the magnitude of my problem.
My favorite James Bond is SEAN CONNERY
WG: You recently worked with Idris Elba, driving him in a golf cart for a Booking.com commercial. How was it filming with him, and do you think he will be the next 007?
DP: I love James Bond, in fact, at the age of 11, I made my own James Bond gadget case which I mentioned in another of my true stories, ‘13’, chronicling four significant events, three of which were very dramatic, which I experienced when I was 13!
James Bond is a huge part of my life. I’ve seen every film more than three or four times. James Bond also gets a mention in the books ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ and my crime fiction trilogy. Some might say I’m a little obsessed. Come to think of it, Idris Elba also gets a mention in the trilogy. I think Idris would make a great James Bond.
As for working with him when we filmed the Booking.com commercial, it was something I will never forget. He is a star, a Hollywood star, and it was an incredible experience.
I’ve written a blog post about my time on set with Idris for Stage 32, the huge platform for anyone in the movie business, which can be found HERE> https://www.stage32.com/blog/3054 Stage 32 is a FREE platform with OVER 800,000 members. I recommend anyone in the film industry to join. It’s a fantastic platform for networking, promoting your projects, and being recognized.
I just want to add that my favorite James Bond is SEAN CONNERY!
WG: What do your (4) kids think about their dad as a writer?
DP: My four children, 28, 27, 26, and 13, I have two grandchildren too, are very proud of their dad, as indeed I am of them. They are looking forward to being extras in the movie of ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’, which the Executive Producers, Golden Mile Productions, No Reservations, and Mark Foligno, and our Hollywood director are planning to film in early 2023.
WG: You are an Ambassador for Cancer Research UK. How did that come about, and what was the draw for you?
DP: My girlfriend, Julie, was an ambassador before we got together in memory of her father who died from cancer. As I, too, lost my father to cancer, joining her as a cancer campaigns ambassador was a good way of turning a tragedy into something positive, working on campaigns to help reduce the needless loss of life due to smoking-related illness. We have been to the Houses of Parliament on many occasions for campaigning and were there only a couple of weeks ago for a SMOKE-FREE UK campaign meeting with our local MP, Matthew Offord who pledged his support to the campaign. I’ve also raised money for the charity by doing numerous charity book signing events.
WG: What is a typical writing day like for you? Do you enjoy the process?
DP: I haven’t got a typical writing day. I do love to write at night and into the early hours of the morning, with a glass of red wine or whisky, but as I act out the scenes while I am writing and say all the dialogue out loud, I have to bear in mind my family sleeping. So most of the time I write in the morning to late afternoon. I don’t have a process; I just go with the flow. I do have music playing in the background when I write. If I need some inspiration, I don’t read a book; I watch a well-written TV show.
WG: Your partner Julie is also your editor. Does that complicate the working relationship and how do you handle differences in editorial opinions from her that you may disagree with?
I have my own style of writing
DP: Yes, Julie has been my editor since my second book. I’m writing #16 now, although she did re-edit ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ a few years ago. She is a fantastic editor who has edited a few other authors’ books, even though she has a very demanding full-time job in PR and Corporate Social Responsibility for a flexible workspace company in the City of London called BE Offices. As I’ve said before, she understands my writing and my dyslexia. We have situations where she feels some of my wording shouldn’t be in the story, and sometimes I agree with her, but sometimes I go against her will, and we work out how to keep it in.
The thing is, I have my own style of writing, and sometimes she doesn’t like certain things, but we can usually come to an agreement after I’ve thrown my toys out of the pram, but then calmed down and collected them all back in. For example, she isn’t the biggest fan of my crime fiction trilogy. The plot is about a debt-ridden author who commits a heinous crime for money and then writes about the murder and the events thereafter, and that book then becomes a bestseller. Like a book within a book. Julie doesn’t like that the main character is an author and thinks that I’ve based his character very much on myself. I must say there is some truth in that, but I’m pleased to say not at all regarding the crime. Happily, the response from readers to my crime fiction trilogy has been incredible, with many readers wanting to see it made into a TV series.
As I’m writing this, a script-writer, producer and director, Michael Gorman from Kat Harvey Films in America, is writing a pilot which will be pitched to TV production companies. My aim is to have it featured on Netflix, Paramount, Apple, HBO, or any channel which will option my crime fiction series.
As well as on Amazon and social media, I’m overwhelmed by the response to the trilogy on my blog, with over 220 reviews and over 260K views to this ONE blog post, which includes the first three chapters of book one, Write to Kill HERE >
WG: Are you good at accepting criticism? With all the adoration of your work, does it make accepting criticism harder?
DP: When I first clicked the self-publish link on Amazon for my first book, ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’, my friend and then editor warned me, “David, be prepared for some negative reviews because of the nature of the story.” At first, the negative reviews did get to me, especially some of the names I’ve been called, but not now. I’ve learned to be thick-skinned, and I’m pleased to say that the positive reviews completely outweigh the negative reviews. Saying that, one one-star review from a reader in America made me laugh out loud. I tweet about it quite often. This is part of the review that made me laugh,
“I was expecting an Ernest Hemingway travelog, but all I got was Austin Powers on vacation.”
Yeah Baby. . .
WG: Would you rather be considered financially successful as an author but thought of as more of a hack, or financially unsettled but considered a brilliant writer?
DP: The latter for sure, and that is closer to the truth if my bank balance is anything to go by, as my editor so kindly just pointed out. To be considered a brilliant writer would make all the hard work of writing and lack of funds worth it.
WG: Books & Pieces Magazine likes to help newer authors. What advice would you have for them, and what pitfalls did you wish you had learned earlier?
DP: Whenever I’m asked this question, I always give the same answer. WRITE FOR YOURSELF and no one else. I haven’t faced any pitfalls to learn from apart from being dyslexic and perhaps wrongly assuming that writing a fiction series would be the same process as writing a true story. A true story flows because it is a retelling of actual events, whereas a work of fiction requires much more plotting and forethought. Many authors say that to be a great author, one should read many books. The thing is, I’m not a reader, yes, that may sound crazy, an author that doesn’t read. I prefer to write than read.
WG: If you could go back and avoid the problems that resulted in the novels being written, would you?
DP: No way. I have led an eventful life and still do, and without these events, I wouldn’t have started to write. I now have four true stories published, and the producers of ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ would like to make further movies of my stories, especially Five Weeks, which is about a trip to America in 1987, where I was nearly left for dead in a Pennsylvanian wood. So, even though I’ve faced life-threatening situations in three out of four of my true stories, no, I wouldn’t go back.
WG: Tell me about your Bollywood experiences?
DP: You’ve done your research, William. I’m very impressed. As I’ve said, as well as being an author, I am an extra and supporting artist. The three Bollywood movies I have appeared in are on Amazon Prime. They are ‘83’, ‘Darbar’ and ‘Barun Rai and the House on the Cliff’, where I played a corpse. People might think it’s easy playing dead, but having to keep still and silent for one minute or so is not that easy, especially when you have to do several takes, and sometimes with an itchy nose.
I must add that I love being part of creative projects, and I’m honored to have been featured in several movies, TV series, music videos, and many commercials, and along the way I’ve met many famous people. I just get so starstruck…
Next month I will be going to the first London screening of ‘I Do Not Exist’ in which I play a murder victim, and ‘Memoirs of a Dying Man’, which is another movie in which I play a murder victim. I get shot in the head.
WG: Do you write screenplays? If not, is that something that interests you?
DP: I would love to, but writing screenplays requires a skill set that I have yet to acquire, and certainly, an author shouldn’t write the screenplay for one of their books. Hence Michael is writing the pilot of my crime fiction series. I will one day. It’s something that I would love to do.
WG: What’s your favorite quote?
DP: I love a good TV series, my favorites being ‘Succession,’ ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Breaking Bad,’ and ‘Better Call Saul.’ There are so many great quotes in them, but if I had to single one out, it would be, “I am not in danger, Skyler. I am the danger.” From Breaking Bad, of course.
WG: Anything else you would like to share that I have not asked? Events, releases etc.
DP: With ‘Wrong Place Wrong Time’ hopefully filming in early 2023, and with my crime fiction series being pitched for a TV series, I’m just looking forward so much to seeing either or both projects come to fruition, particularly as my readers want so desperately to see them come to a big or small screen.
Find David at:
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